You can have all the latest clothes and get good grades and roll with the right crowd, but life as a teenager is still ... complicated.
Working on this Young HER-themed magazine, I’ve spent a lot of time reminiscing on my high school days — the late afternoons spent learning how to design our quarterly school newspaper and the countless hours practicing and goofing off during theater rehearsals. I had a good experience and a few close friendships I still maintain from those days, but you couldn’t pay me enough to relive it.
Then add in the advancement (or maybe pervasion) of social media and technology — my flip phone worked quite well, thanks — not to mention a pandemic that forced teens into social isolation ... no thanks.
That’s why I’m grateful for places like Building Community Bridges. Reporter India Garrish visited with the local nonprofit that strives to empower young people through a variety of different programs: boxing, tutoring, modeling — all for free. Through a community effort, the volunteers at BCB teach more than just a skill; they hope to break down barriers to success and create a healthier self-image, especially for young women.
This edition of HER is meant to serve as a spotlight for some of the many young women the Mid-Missouri community can be proud to call our own. I thank the local schools for helping connect us with such strong, driven young women. It was truly a challenge to narrow down the list to only three. But Sandhiya Baskar, Sydni Stratman and Dahlia Penserum are proof there’s a lot of potential out there; just give them some time to change the world. Read their inspiring stories on pages 11-17.
We also wanted to hear from some of our HER readers, regardless of age. So we asked local female leaders to share advice they’d give their younger selves. They tackled issues ranging from embracing failures, to taking risks and owning your identity.
If I had to go back to high school, I’d tell the shy but ambitious me to relax; no one has it all figured out just yet. Heck, that’s good advice for now, too. I’ll try to listen.